How will we connect with colleagues in five to ten years’ time? Will we all be interacting with holograms? Fully immersed in virtual worlds? Or will the reality be much closer to how most of us work from our laptops today?
Virtual worlds and immersive experiences could offer exciting new ways to connect with others – and our content. And with people more dispersed and working patterns more personalized than before, how we collaborate and get things done have never been more important.
It’s my team’s role to dig into future trends and technologies, experiment with solutions and reimagine experiences. Though immersive environments will play a role in the future of work, face-to-face meetings, instant messages, collaboration tools, and video calls aren’t going anywhere. That’s why we’re focusing on the user experience and honing in on everyday micro moments that could be disruptive as we potentially bounce between physical, digital and virtual worlds in the future.
We’re asking questions like: How will people interact at the intersections of these worlds? What tools will people need to move between these locations seamlessly? What if people don’t want to wear a headset and dive into a virtual world for eight hours each day – would they be excluded from future projects or collaboration opportunities?
Intelligent, Familiar Tools for Future Interactions
Using Concept Nyx’s ability to deliver compute all around, powered at the edge, we have been exploring how to pair familiar devices and peripherals with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to work together as an ecosystem to deliver easily accessible and immersive experiences beyond gaming.
Our labs are packed with curated immersive demonstrations and concepts to help us test and explore how Dell could help people move between various spaces and tasks intuitively in the future. From fully immersive Virtual Reality (VR) builds to Mixed Reality (XR) experiences featuring displays and other tools that remove the need for a VR headset, these environments have helped us evolve concepts like the Concept Nyx Companion. As a lightweight tablet-style device that could be viewed and accessed in VR and XR environments, the concept could be a consistent tool throughout all these spaces and could ensure users’ content is in one place as they move between spaces and tasks. No more taking photos of whiteboards or copying notes to be uploaded to a different space – users could just simply screenshot their project space and/or easily copy content for sharing across screens.
Together with the Concept Nyx Stylus, users could input notes by voice or via pen, and then drag and drop them into digital and virtual collaboration spaces, and even use the voice activation for AI image creation – perfect for non-aspiring artists! All these tools could also seamlessly be used alongside the Concept Nyx Spatial Input in a future desktop environment with a keyboard and mouse, and possibly 3D displays too. We’ve been looking at creative ways to connect these traditional tools for a clutter-free space, and we’ve also been thinking about intuitive gestures for interacting with content – for example, using the tip of the Stylus for writing and the top of the Stylus for interacting with onscreen content or using the Spatial Input as a dial for a 360 view or for zooming in on details.
We’ve also been thinking through how people might show up in future digital and virtual spaces. We’ve all been on video calls where we need to step away for a moment to answer the door or tend to a pet or child off camera. Instead of leaving a blank screen, empty seat, or static 2015 headshot, imagine with a wave of your hand, you could stay present as an intelligent avatar while you step away or stay off camera completely. To explore this, we’ve been experimenting with gestures and movement tracking and building on our imaging technology and video conferencing expertise to create the Concept Nyx Spatial camera, which when paired with AI software, could learn a user’s expressions and mannerisms to deliver a more authentic representation of them for future interactions.
Advancing the Concept Nyx Ecosystem
From infrastructure to devices, Dell is at the center of present and future workplaces and is focused on developing the tools that will be needed to navigate these spaces. Right now, this means bringing tools to market like a new generation of UltraSharp conferencing monitors and intelligent webcams with motion activated controls and presence detection, and building on technologies like storage, 5G, multicloud and edge that provide the advanced connectivity and infrastructure to allow organizations to shape how they work. In the future, productivity tools will be connected and intelligent enough to seamlessly move from experience to experience and task to task, helping to break down barriers and redefine how colleagues connect with one another.
My team continues to explore the future of compelling, immersive experiences in both work and play. Concepts play a huge role in allowing our designers, engineers, and strategists to test and tweak devices and solutions to inform future experience roadmaps. We’re excited to keep you updated on our journey!